How to excite and rally your team behind shared objectives.
Startups are young, energetic and alive. They are living organisms feeling their way in the world for the first time. Excitement is common when starting out, but it can often be short-lived. Riding the lulls and keeping the enthusiasm going can be a challenge at times. There are tactics that you can use that not only keep your team motivated behind a common goal but serve to ingrain good practices into your company culture as well.
I recently explored the meaning of the word galvanism, its origin and evolution over time. Broadly, to galvanise means to shock or excite someone or a group of people into action.
In business, teams can be galvanised behind a common company goal, objective or shared idea. A business or even an entire industry can be galvanised by external forces, such as COVID-19 and Brexit.
Taken together, the theme is the same: that these groups are excited and energised into action and renewed vigour. How to galvanise your team around a common goal
Relationships drive business results. When your future goal seems far away as your team focuses on the present, it’s likely that they will lack enthusiasm and investment in achieving it. Having your team buy into your goals can help everyone get behind a shared purpose. Each team member should feel that they are contributing to something larger than their current workload. Often, communication is the hurdle to effectively pursuing a shared goal.
Galvanise your team by getting their buy-in
You can use the below seven pointers to overcome communication problems and get your team energised and excited behind a common objective.
1 Align your leadership
How can employees align with each other and the company goals when their leaders are not in agreement? Aligning your decision-makers is the critical first step. This is important because you and your leaders will have a shared clarity of vision and purpose. This will help to prevent confusion between teams and synchronise your various workgroups.
Aligning leadership is also important because it shows commitment at the top level. After all, how can you place expectations on your team to commit when they can see that you have not? Showing commitment when it is not present is very difficult to do. You chose smart people for your team; they will spot false enthusiasm and begin questioning the goals and the direction you are taking without clear signs of a commitment from above.
2 Invite team members into the goal-setting process
It is worthwhile inviting team members into the goal-setting process from the outset. This helps others see the big picture from early on. While all team members cannot attend strategy meetings, you do not always have to keep them at arm’s length and simply give them orders to follow blindly.
3 Measure your language and ensure your team understands your diction
We communicate in a manner that resonates with ourselves which is occasionally confusing for others. Put yourself in the shoes of each of your individual team members and consider how to best communicate your message to them. If your message has clarity, and all your team understands you, you are far more likely to motivate others and get them behind your shared goals.
Connect your company goals to those of your individual team members
You already know that each team member is already heavily invested in their own performance and success in their role as well as contributing to their team’s overall purpose. Bridging the gap between their goals and your company goals creates a strong and lasting connection. Having connected, shared goals also ties in with involving your team in the goal-setting process as well as communicating and motivating in an appropriate manner that is relevant to each of your employees.
4 Always explain the “why”
Everything needs a context, including goals. Giving the context for your actions and objectives is critical for getting team members to buy-in. If you do not explain the reason for a goal, employees will not feel invested in achieving it.
The worst thing to do is to highlight a goal and push for it without giving a reason why it is so important at the time; you need to share your reasoning. For example, offer up the factors that led to this specific objective, why it is important and what result it will have for your company and for your team.
5 Be enthusiastic
It is not to be brimming with enthusiasm every hour of every day. But there are key meetings and touchpoints when you need to demonstrate your enthusiasm in a genuine way. If your team sees that you are not excited or enthusiastic about your shared company goals it is not reasonable to expect them to be. Demonstrating your enthusiasm for the impact achieving a goal will have is a great way to show your excitement and encourage your team.
6 Check goals and update their progress
In reality, the goal-setting process follows a similar trend: a meeting with the leaders and team members where the decision-makers drop the quarterly goal on the room and give it a moment to sink in while they observe responses. We have all been there. Overall, it is counterproductive to the above pointers and it is disheartening for employees.
Making progress visible, rather than just the final outcome, is much more effective. It shows the stages of the goal and highlights progress. Keeping your team informed on goal progress and celebrating key achievements with them recognises and rewards their efforts. This will keep your team motivated and energised to carry on.
7 Looking ahead
Making sure that each of your team members feels a connection between themselves and the overarching goals of your organisation brings vitality into their work. However, effectively communicating your objectives in a way that galvanises your team behind you can be a challenge.
The tactics outlined above are a great starting point to review your communication methods and move towards implementing effective ways to connect employees to company goals. When your communications are resonating with every team member and they have bought into their shared company and individual goals, you will certainly see a much greater degree of understanding among your team and greater commitment to your shared objectives.